FLOOD AID — State Department of Transportation surveyors Andrew Mollel, foreground, and Eric Smith size up the damage on a Route 233 culvert over a tributary of Oriskany Creek in July 2017. Preventing or reducing such flood damage is the aim of $1.7 million Oneida County is sending to six municipalities as part of the county’s program of flood mitigation. New Hartford, Whitestown, Floyd, Augusta, Waterville and Marshall are set to get the help under action by the county Legislature on Sept. 12. (Clinton Record file photo by John Clifford)

Oneida County sending $1.7 million to six towns for flood mitigation

Published Sep 19, 2018 at 4:00pm

Oneida County is sending $1.7 million to several municipalities to help fight flooding, much of it in New Hartford and Whitestown.

Legislators on Sept. 12 approved a package of resolutions giving County Executive Anthony Picente the go-ahead to complete documents needed to carry out the county’s flood-mitigation grant program for municipalities.

The approximately $1.7 million is coming from $2 million Picente set aside to help communities mitigate flooding and improve resiliency after rain storms in the early summer of 2017. That is in addition to more than $600,000 already spent to help localities clean up from the flooding, and from $250,000 to help individuals and businesses through the Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties.

The county isn’t paying the whole cost for the projects. Localities have to put in their own money as well.

• The Town of New Hartford is the biggest beneficiary, as it’s set to get about $1.22 million spread among three projects: The county is helping with $250,000 for the town’s Grange Hill stormwater improvement project with the town matching it with $150,000; $800,000 with a $300,000 local match for the Mud Creek-Preswick stormwater detention project; and $175,000 to be matched with the town’s $75,000 for culvert improvements and stormwater detention at Mud Creek.

• Whitestown stands to get $225,000 in aid with a local match of $1.520 million for  engineering oversight of a floodplain bench restoration project. Other projects getting county help:

• Floyd: $70,000, with a one-to-one local match for stream bank stabilization, and two separate culvert right-sizing and stream restoration projects, one for $35,000 and one for $37,750, both with the town paying an equal amount.  

• Augusta: $20,000 with an equal funding match from the town
for an upgrade to a culvert.

• Waterville: $55,000 with the same amount from the town for stream restoration at the wastewater plant, and $50,000 with a one-to-one local match for culvert upgrade and stream restoration.

• Marshall is to get $17,000 to repair and enlarge an undersized culvert damaged in 2017 and match it equally.

Flooding is a perennial issue in much of Oneida County. Habitation and development along the narrow creeks flowing rapidly from steep hills throughout the Mohawk Valley means flooding is common after severe rainfall, but it was particularly intense July 1 and 2, 2017. More than 5 inches of rain fell over the two days as measured at Rome’s Griffiss International Airport, according to the Northeast Regional Climate Center at Cornell University in Ithaca.

In the weeks after the event, Picente pledge $12 million in flood mitigation assistance over six years to localities.